Showing posts from 2014

End of Term - Look Back & Forward

Happy Holidays!

It's been a busy term. Over the holidays, take a few minutes one day and think about:


Review your writing homework from Term 1- make a list of your biggest successes.Write a list of reminders: "I need to check...", "I need to include..."
Use of English

Review your Use of English. Which part of the exam is your best one?Which do you need to do more work on?
Vocabulary Take some time to read, watch and listen to any English you can during the holidays. Every little helps. Start with a song at the bottom of this post!
Reading & Listening

As above, take a look at the question types you've tried - work out your weaker ones. Take a look at workbook exercises. You should find examples online too. We probably have some links if you look through our A-Z.Speaking Youtube has lots of Speaking tests to take a look at to remind yourself what to do (and not do!) in the tests. Review a couple!
Your progress
Compare your marks from the start of term to th…

Reading Skills Practice for First

Go here for an exercise about Skimming and Scanning.

Proficiency Speaking

The BBC's 60-second archive. Ideas and practice for your long-turn.

Link here.

Advanced - Article Writing Exercises

From One Stop English, here's lots of excellent practice material on article writing.

CAE Leaflet Week: Practice Planning!

Now's your chance to put to work what you have seen - on page three of this PDF are three exam questions. Spend five minutes planning one or more using the intstructions below and post your ideas here if you want us to comment!
-Decide who is the target audience/reader and what is the formality level? -Explain what the reader should have/know/be given/do next at the end of reading your piece -Decide how many paragraphs you would write and their functions, with some language examples -List the vocabulary topic area(s) and some examples, with synonyms where/if possible
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First Sentence Transformations

12 minutes of video to help you practice.

Proficiency Speaking


Advanced Exam Practice

Link here. This materials for the 2013 exam, but still useful for the 2015 version.

Report Writing

A link to an article on report writing.

Note thatwe don't recommend very short (numbered) sentences in the writing exams - they limit your range of language


An article on persuasive language. Recommended for

PROPOSALS at Advanced
PART 1 at Proficiency

Link is here.


Use of English practice is here.

Proficiency Practice Material

Materal from the previous version of the exam, but much of it is still good practice. Note that Reading Part 1 is much like Use of English Part 2 in the current exam.


Paragraph Writing

An interesting article with advice on paragraph writing is here.

Linking Words Quiz

Below are 15 questions about linking words. Print this page out and spend 15 minutes working on it. Be ambitious and try it without using your books..

For with which word is the same as for example?Which four word expression do you use to give emphasis to two things? Clue: "NOBA"What's a difference between Besides and Furthermore?Do you know a synonym for Furthermore starting with M?There are four expressions starting with In that you can use to summarise. How many do you know?What's the opposite of the former?What's the difference between because of and because?How many synonyms for because do you know?Can you think of two alternatives to So?How many alternatives to But do you know?What's the difference between In spite of and despite?What's the difference between although and despite?What changes do you have to make if you use however in place of but?Can you use nevertheless?Can you use unlike? Go here to check your answers (which are in the …


"The higher your level, the more important it gets."
Take a look at our updated Vocabulary Page - link on the menu bar - for advice and suggestions on the area everyone needs to work on.

Getting ready to write.

One Way to Plan Your Work

There's no single way to plan a writing answer, but here's a two-step process that tries to get you to focus on

- the tasks you've got to do
- the language you need to use
- avoiding copying from the question
- getting variety in your vocab

Take a look at this question:

Apply this two step process.

Step 1.
a. Underline all the FUNCTIONS you have to carry out in this exercise.
b. Highlight the important information words in the question.

Here are's our version:

QuestionYou are reading an English language magazine and you see details of a language school that you are interested in.

If you would like to study English on a course that has been specially designed to meet your needs and interests, then contact the Principal of the Effective Learning School giving details of your:
Motivation for studying English; length of time studying English; strengths and weaknesses in the languagePreferred start date and length of courseHobbies …

Writing a Livelt Reviews

Here's some stuff on reviews. Mark Kermode is our review man, and here are a couple of bits of his stuff for you.The "task" really is to enjoy and see how enthusiastic he gets - and see if you can think of things you can be so energised about!
First, Quantum of Solace:
Now, for contrast, here's some Mamma Mia; And finally, a personal favourite, The Da Vinci Code, in audio only:

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Proficiency Practice

Proficiency - Time to Study!

Lots of free practice exercises, although others need registration and payment, and we can't take responsibility for that! Parts 1,3 and 4 are appropraite for the current exam format.

FCE Listening

Go here for the start of an online listening test.

Advanced - Study and revise.

Advanced - Time to Study!

Lots of free practice exercises, although others need registration and payment, and we can't take responsibility for that!

Grammar and Vocabulary for First

First - Time to Study!

Lots of free practice exercises, although others need registration and payment, and we can't take responsibility for that!

2013 First Reading Sample

Reading exercises, with answers on the final page, is here.

Writing Reports


First Video Lounge 5

Our latest link is to a video with advice for the Listening test.

CAE Video Lounge 4

Another video, this time: The Writng Test described.

FCE Video Lounge 4

Advice for the FCE Writing Test.

CPE Quizzes


Advanced Video Lounge 3

The Speaking Exam, in depth

Advanced Video Lounge 2

Planning to register? Already registered? Get ready for the exam.

First Video Lounge 3

Another video, this time reviewing Sentence transformation from Part 4 of the test.

Proficiency Vocabulary Quiz


First Video Lounge 2

Examiners Talking About the Speaking Test

Go here.

Advanced Video Lounge 1

Video Advice for Use of English

Proficiency Listening Test

Link to  Youtube Video of a CPE Listening test.

Answers availabel from the link on the page.

New Listening!

We've added a Link to a page of Advanced Listening Actvities to the Listening Hub.

First Video Lounge

First Video Lounge

The Video Lounge will expand to link to lessons about the exams on the net.

A video review of FCE Use of English Part 1

First Key Word Transformations

First TEST 

A youtube video full of tips for the Key Word Transformation part.